In Atlanta or the State of Georgia for that matter, domestic violence offenses carry with them an innate stigma and may lead to someone facing a charge to forego experienced legal help, but this would be a serious mistake.
An investigation into domestic violence begins as soon as someone reports an act of violence or a threat of violence. Atlanta domestic violence offenses require significantly less evidence than other violent crimes in order to support a charge and obtain a conviction. Often, domestic violence charges arise from a situation where there are no witnesses and it is a matter of he-said, she-said. This is not to minimize the severity of domestic violence, but in a situation where tempers are inflamed and intoxicating substances may be involved, the angry accusations of a spouse, partner, or even roommate may result in a criminal conviction and a life altered in innumerable ways.
If you face domestic violence charges in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Paulding, Gwinnett, or Cobb County, or any other county in the Atlanta, Georgia area, the Howard Law Group can help you get through the accusations and establish a reasonable defense.
What constitutes domestic violence in Atlanta?
Despite the widespread belief that domestic violence occurs between a husband and a wife or a boyfriend and girlfriend, this often is not the case. Any violent act, or even the threat of a violent act, that happens between people living in the same residence can lead to the filing of domestic violence charges. This means that domestic violence charges can be leveled between family members, roommates, and other individuals sharing a domicile, whether long-term or temporary. The impact of domestic violence is widespread and, potentially, catastrophic, and may involve protective orders or temporary restraining orders, jail time, loss of employment, and changes in child custody agreements.
Domestic Violence laws in Georgia take many forms, including:
- Simple Assault;
- Aggravated Assault;
- Simple Battery;
- Aggravated Battery;
- Stalking; and
There are many different outcomes to a case involving allegations of domestic violence. Georgia law has provisions for many different punishments based upon whether the altercation involved merely threats of violence or whether actual physical contact and injury occurred. Moreover, the court can consider other factors, such as the presence or use of a weapon, prior violent acts, and previous convictions. A person who is convicted of a domestic violence offense may face probation, anger management courses, domestic violence courses, fines, and jail or prison time, depending on the severity of the act of domestic violence.
Possible Domestic Violence Defenses
Depending on the specific facts of your case, there are several reasonable defenses that can defeat or minimize a charge of domestic violence. You may have found yourself in the situation where you were attacked and had to defend yourself and your attacker then claimed you were the instigator. Although people are quick to judge those accused of domestic violence, self-defense remains a reasonable defense. A lack of intent to cause harm may be a viable defense, or at least a mitigating factor to be considered in sentencing.
There are situations in which it is necessary to step in and prevent a family member from doing harm to a third party. The defense of others is a reasonable justification for taking action that led to injury to a family member. Finally, there is the matter of false allegations. Unfortunately, an alleged victim making accusations against someone for reasons other than protecting themselves happens more often than you would think, wherein the law is used as a weapon in a divorce action or child custody proceeding.
Do not let the social stigma of a domestic violence charge prevent you from obtaining the experienced legal representation that you need and deserve. If you have been arrested in Atlanta on a Domestic Violence charge, contact the Howard Law Group ASAP, so we can help.